the Blues still believe in the title, in the weight of Welsh experience… The keys to the last game of the 2023 Six Nations Tournament
France’s XV receives Wales on Saturday for the final day of the Six Nations tournament.
One last match on the Tournament stage. The XV of France welcomes Wales to the grass at the Stade de France on Saturday 18 March (3.45pm, su France 2 and france.tv), for the final day of the Six Nations tournament. Sparkling winners in England, the French want to round off the final sprint against an opponent who seems within their reach (5th, three defeats for only one victory).
Don’t get too much headed into Dublin
The Blues aren’t ready to give up their trophy just yet. The XV of France are the last team that can still play for the title against Ireland, undefeated. Four points behind Clover’s XV, the Blues must imperatively win to continue believing in the final victory, and count on a misstep from Ireland that England receives (kick-off at 6pm).
But they will first have to fulfill their end of the contract before they hope that still-idle XV de la Rose will do them a favor, a week after being humiliated by these same Frenchmen. “We are all aware of what we have to do to take first place for a few hours, or more as we hope”third row Grégory Alldritt assured the press on Wednesday.
Will the returnees blend into the mold?
One week after their historic victory in England, the XV of France is awaited for the round by its fans and its public. On the Twickenham lawn they rediscovered the game and the fundamentals that had led them to the Grand Slam in 2022. Impeccable on the ground as well as on foot, they put in their first complete performance of the competition. A successful copy that the Blues want to capitalize on.
When faced with an opponent in crisis, and struggling in many areas of the game, Habs have the ability to hit hard and fast. “The goal is to bring back the same intensity, play just like we did at Twickenham.”promised Grégory Alldritt.
They will also benefit from the return of Uini Atonio, on the right front row, after a three-week suspension and the introduction of Romain Taofifenua, who replaces the injured Paul Willemse. The first nominated will have to make Dorian Aldegheri forget, very good against England and also impressed, while the second will have to partner Thibaud Flament in the line-up. Whether these two newcomers integrate into a perfectly oiled XV will also depend on the overall performance of the Blues.
The Welsh rely on experience
The coach of the Dragons, Warren Gatland, has chosen to rely on a highly experienced team. His fifteen players who will start the game on the grass at the Stade de France are approaching 1,000 cumulative selections (997). Gatland have reinstated several of their captains, such as Alun Wyn Jones (157 caps) and Dan Biggar (106 caps), who were sacked during the match against Italy.
Facing the Blues, Taulupe Faletau will celebrate his 100th international cap, a total none of Galthié’s players have achieved. “It’s a team made up of players who have, for some, won the Grand Slam three times, and won five tournaments.”commented the Italian coach on the sidelines of the announcement of the composition of his team, which has accumulated just over 500 selections (527).
Rhys Webb, Leek’s X-Factor
It had been six years since he had started a Six Nations match, a small eternity in his career. Pushed again to 34 by Warren Gatland, he has scrum-half Rhys Webb he led his companions in the victory against Italy. Omnipresent, author of quick releases and millimeter raises, he also excelled on his foot, as in the first Welsh attempt.
“I found him excellent in picking, in the way he controlled the game and played well on his feet.”he had praised his coach after his performance against Italy. So much so that he has decided to entrust him again with the keys to Saturday’s match against the Blues. His long-range duel with Antoine Dupont is worth a look.